Recovery should be built into the programming

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I've been having fun hanging out with Blake in the evenings. He quotes all the same folks that I do, and reads all the same stuff I read. He's a great match for the gym. 

We've been spending some time really digging into programming. What's really interesting is that we approach programming very differently but we end up in the same place. Our programs look very similar.

One thing we agree on is that the program needs to have recovery built in. It's a challenge to do that when you're programming for a whole gym full of folks who have different schedules, but we have some good techniques to make it work. 

While I was gearing up for my anti-HIIT rant and my anti-Ibuprofen rant, this new article was posted on the Strong First blog, and it all came together: All of the stresses you have during the day add up - bad sleep, bad food, traffic, soul-sucking-job, your workouts - and your body can't tell the difference. You can't live a stress-free life, you'd have nothing to adapt to and you'd waste away to nothing. You need to make sure that your workout fits in in the context of the stresses of your day, week, month...  If you need to stop working out to recover from your workouts, you're doing it wrong - going hard everyday is not the path to long-term success. 

You want to avoid the constant high-intensity work. Even if you have your "muscle confusion" and "always change things up so you don't get bored", you're still working only one metabolic pathway, constantly stressing your body and not letting it recover. You'll end up getting injured, metabolically run down, and sore all the time.

The way we approach our recovery is to have variability built into the cycles so that you never have to explicitly stop to recover. I typically do it with changing thing up like having separate AGT days and strength days. Blake has been working on deconstructing some of the Plan Strong ideas which have a really neat fractal self similar pattern to them.

In the end it all comes back to antifragility and the original barbell strategy, you are a convex function and you grow stronger with variability.

Michael Deskevich